MMMMM We made some good treats today. I'm very proud of myself. We've been battling the mainstream, processed food issues for years but for some reason the alternatives just never stuck. I know it's important for my family to get the best possible nutrition and to live a healthy lifestyle. Its a really hard thing to do when I've been brought up on processed meals and every other ad in magazines and TV is for sugar laden foods; even the ones geared towards kids! On the other hand, offering up healthy organic delights can leave our checking account quite a bit lighter and we've still needed to make those runs for fill in meals.
Well, I've had enough. At 27 I feel like I'm 87. Granted, I've had 5 pregnancies in the past oh, 6 years and have been on and off a single parent when Rob's training and deployment have come up but I still don't think I should have these health issues. Aching, sore back and neck, constant fatigue, poor concentration and memory, overweight issues, and depression are the majority of complaints I deal with daily, though I've learned to live with them I don't want to anymore.
I picked up a book last night called Living In The Raw. The first few chapters gave me the why and how in layman's terms, that food works in my body. It also has some pretty realistic goals for changing diet and exercise that gradually introduce new things to your body and lifestyle. I was really impressed with this. My kids and I already enjoy some raw/organic foods (mostly treats LOL) such as Lara Bars and Betty Lou's Almond Butter Balls. At about $1.00 to $2.00 a piece (depending on where you can find them) these treats of wholesomeness are just too costly for my pocket, especially with 6 people enjoying them, so I came up with my own recipes after scouring the internet for healthy raw food directions. Here's a little peek at Olivia and I making our treats.
Here is Olivia sinking her hands into her glob of dates and cherries. I think the mixing was the best part for her other than the taste-testing of course. And a photo of the globular concoction after I dug in and added the raw almond bits.
Then I shaped it after wrapping it in saran wrap. It was actually easier to do than I thought it would be. Granted the log isn't quite even all the way throughout but that's part of the fun.
As Olivia was mixing up her "gunk" as she called it, I was rolling the nut butter mix into balls and dipping them in almond bits. For these I used some fresh Almond Butter, almost a pound, raw oats, raisins, raw oats and flax seeds, organic honey for sweetening and for stickiness, and a tiny pinch of sea salt to balance it out. I didn't use measurements or directions so I can't give them here sorry! I combined all the ingredients in my stand mixer on low until it was throughly mixed up. Then I rolled them into balls and then rolled them in almond bits (the left overs of what I added to the date and cherry bars).
I had a great time with my oldest daughter making these treats, she was so excited to see the ingredients turning into things she recognized and loved to eat and enjoyed the very easy process of making them. I was overjoyed at the ease of "baking" up so many yummy things in a very short amount of time.
To give you a quick cost analysis the Almond Butter balls costs about $9.50 of ingredients and made 16 balls, approx .60 cents per ball compared to .99 cents at the local store. Also, other than the Almond Butter I had (and will have for next use) all the ingredients on hand which should make it much less expensive next time. The flat date and cherry bars cost approximately $6.20 of ingredients and made approx 8 granola bar sized bars; approx. .78 cents a bar compared to up to $2.00 for similar bars in stores. And of course the final ingredient which makes these priceless; love.